Re: Get out of my city: mayor to shooters, April 8.
I find Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s recent comments regarding the spate of shootings across Surrey troubling.
On the one hand, she says the shooters are holding the city “hostage”; on the other, she says “it’s still a safe city.”
Leaving aside the obvious contradiction in her remarks, it is mind-boggling to me that the mayor can call our city “safe” when there have been more than 30 shootings in the first quarter of the year alone. If the shootings continue at this pace, there will be over 120 shootings by year’s end! This is simply unacceptable.
I am also troubled by the mayor’s response to the violence in our community.
I recall an interview she gave last year, where she complained the media asked her for a statement every time there was a shooting, and that the mayors of other communities are not asked for their comments when there is violence in their cities.
In response to the most recent shootings, she stated that “Everybody’s hammering, where’s the mayor? I know what’s going on.…”
With all due respect, Mayor, the citizens of this community look to you for leadership. When there are issues such as rampant gun-related violence, we need to hear publicly from our elected officials that they are aware of the issue, that they are making it a priority, and that they are doing everything they can – within their power – to address it.
We need reassurance – not leaders who remain behind-closed-doors, and certainly not leaders who complain when they are asked to address issues in their community.
Sanjeeta Johal, Surrey
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In viewing the front page article of the April 8 edition of the PAN, I just about choked reading that our mayor was furious, and had addressed the shooters – 32 this year so far – stating Surrey is not the place to safely conduct their business.
What kind of uneducated joke is that?
Apart from virtually hiding from the public, she has the nerve to say she believes Surrey is still a safe place to live and work, and our children can safely play in the parks and on their streets. This, when shootings have continued in both of the aforementioned areas.
Apparently our RCMP are aware of who the gangs doing the shootings are, and continue to investigate with little, if any, results that the public can be made aware of.
As well, we now have a director of public safety strategies working for the city. He claims that some new initiatives will be made public in the fall.
After how many more shootings?
Why has the city not authorized the installation of massive camera surveillance in high-crime areas? (Editor’s note: Hepner announced Friday she has given RCMP live access to 330-plus intersection cameras.)
It would seem that two things are evident.
Firstly, we need a proactive municipal, provincial and federal government working together.
And secondly, we badly need our own police force, not the RCMP.
The current mayor and council will not be forgotten for their lack of visibility and meaningful action to rectify the continuing negative view of Surrey as a good place to raise a family.
R. Conley, Surrey